Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 13, 2019

Today's Attacks On Ships In The Gulf Of Oman Are Not In Iran's Interest - Or Are They? (Updated)


Early this morning, around 6:00 UTC, two tankers in the Gulf of Oman were attacked by surface weapons. Both ships were some 50 kilometers south-east of Bandar-e Jask, Iran, and some 100+ kilometers east of Fujairah.


The Front Altair, a 250 meter long crude oil tanker under the flag of the Marshal Islands, came from the United Arab Emirates and was on was on its way to Taiwan. Its load of 75,000 tons of naphta caught fire and the crew had to abandon the ship.


The second attacked ship is the Kokuka Courageous, a 170 meter long tanker flagged by Panama. It was coming from Saudi Arabia and on its way to Singapore. The ship has its hull breached above the water line, but its load of methanol seems to be intact.

The Iranian Search and Rescue ship Naji picked up the 44 crews members of both ships and brought them to Bandar-E Jash. Oil prices increased by some 4%.

These attacks come a month after four ships anchoring near the UAE port Fujairah were damaged by explosives attached to their hulls. The investigation of that incident by the UAE did not blame anyone for the attack but suggested that a nation state must have been behind it. U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton blamed Iran.

It is likely that Iranian proxy forces were involved in the May attacks. It seems unlikely that Iran had anything to do with today's attacks.

The May attack was accompanied by two drone strikes launched by Houthi forces in Yemen on the Saudi east-west pipeline that allows some Saudi exports to avoid a passage through the Street of Hormuz. A third strike was a medium range missile launch by the Islamic Jihad in the Gaza strip against the city of Ashkelon in Israel.

All three strikes together were a warning that those countries who instigate for a U.S. war on Iran would get seriously hurt should Iran be attacked.

The attack today comes at an inconvenient time for Iran. The loud anti-Iran campaign John Bolton initiated in April and May recently calmed down.

U.S. President Trump tries to move Iran towards negotiations with him. He recently received the President of Switzerland in the White House. Switzerland is the 'protecting power' that represent U.S. diplomatic interests in Iran. The German Foreign Minister Maas was send to Iran to press for Iranian concessions. Currently the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe is visiting Tehran. He today met Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei but had no success in moving Iran towards negotiations with the Trump.

Even while Iran rejects negotiations with the U.S. as long as the U.S. keeps up its sanctions,  it has no interest in disturbing the current phase of diplomacy. Iran seems to have nothing to win from these attacks.

Is someone else out to nearly literately torpedo the current mediation attempts?

Update (11:30 utc, 7:30 AM blog time):

A few tweets Iran's Supreme Leader issued after his meeting with Prime Minister Abe today hint at a motive Iran might have to conduct something like the attack that happened today: @khamenei_ir - 9:36 UTC - 13 Jun 2019

We do not believe at all that the U.S. is seeking genuine negotiations with Iran; because genuine negotiations would never come from a person like Trump. Genuineness is very rare among U.S. officials.

.@AbeShinzo U.S. president met & talked with you a few days ago, including about Iran. But after returning from Japan, he immediately imposed sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical industry. Is this a message of honesty? Does that show he is willing to hold genuine negotiations?

After the nuclear deal, the first one to immediately breach the JCPOA was Obama; the same person who had requested negotiations with Iran & had sent a mediator. This is our experience, & Mr. Abe, know that we won’t repeat the same experience.

The keyword here is "petrochemical". The tankers hit today were loaded with naphta from the UAE and methanol from Saudi Arabia. Both are petrochemical products and not simply crude oil. Last Friday, June 7, the U.S. sanctioned all trade with Iran's biggest petrochemical producer. These sanction will seriously hurt Iran.

When the Trump administration began to sanction Iran's oil export last year, Iran announced new rules of the game. It said that it would retaliate against other Persian Gulf producers should Iran be unable to export its goods:

Iran has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a vital artery for oil shipments from the Middle East. The warning comes in response to the US, which is trying to cut off Iranian crude exports.
Iran's supreme leader's senior adviser for international affairs, Ali Akbar Velayati said his country will retaliate.

“The most transparent, complete and prompt response was given by Mr [Hassan] Rouhani, the Iranian president, in his last trip to Europe. The response was clear: if Iran cannot export oil through the Persian Gulf, no-one will do this,” Velayati said, speaking at the Valdai discussion club in Russia. “Either everyone will export, or no-one,” he added.

Now we can apply the keyword Khamenei used today to these sentences: "if Iran cannot export petrochemical products through the Persian Gulf, no-one will do this". "Either everyone will export, or no-one."

That Iran might have this motive does not mean or prove that it is responsible for today's attack. Risking to sink two foreign tankers in international water is not what an otherwise cautious Iran would typically do. Someone else might have initiated it to blame it.

Still - no matter if Iran was involved - what Khamenei said is a very serious message that Abe, who Trump sent to Iran, will understand and communicate back to the White House.

Posted by b on June 13, 2019 at 9:37 UTC | Permalink

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Don Wiscacho
I take it that Abe on this exercise was no more than a US asset. Iran has stuck to the Nuke agreement and US has reneged so nothing to negotiate or mediate on Iran's side. Abe going to Iran as mediator means he was asking for concessions from Iran - that Iran make some moves to appease the US.
US is the type that if you give an inch, they take a mile. If Iran made one concession then US would take it as a sign of weakness and expect them to make more.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 14 2019 5:20 utc | 201

I might have missed mention of it in all the hullabaloo, but I have seen nothing of the US Navy response which would involve tracking down the perpetrators, and ensuring no further acts were committed.

It is that absence of obvious response which causes me to think that our host might be incorrect in his assessment, and that the perpetrator is a party the US Navy would sooner not apprehend.

Posted by: eagle eye | Jun 14 2019 5:23 utc | 202

Iran would be crazy to take on the US so why provoke them. They stand to lose their oil then anyway. War is an economy and Everyone knows that Bolton is a war monger and that Iran is a thorn in Israels side and he needs an excuse to go to war. Also he can't use the WMD card again to start a war and JumpStart the US economy.

Posted by: All Forone | Jun 14 2019 5:24 utc | 203

In 10 years we will know if it was the CIA, in order to justify the next war

Posted by: C | Jun 14 2019 5:28 utc | 204

@206 jen... on your link i get this message - No file by this name exists.

Posted by: james | Jun 14 2019 5:32 utc | 205

I have not followed this closely. There is real proof of "attack" and not accidental or set fire? There is video of a crew "abandoning ship? But then again, in 2019 there is no such thing as video or image proof, at least without expert verification.

Posted by: Big Tim | Jun 14 2019 5:54 utc | 206

guys its BIG OIL... TRUMP approved Ethanol 15 for YEAR ROUND USE a few days ago... that means GAS PRICES would be cheaper for Americans as more corn instead of oil would be used in Automobiles. That drove OIL prices down! This attack on the two ships immediately drove CRUDE OIL up 2.87%!

It seems that TRUMP pissed off some very powerful big oil men & oil-rich Arab nations when he approved the E15!

Why blame Iran? No idea.
Why attack the ships owned by Japan while Shinzo Abe is there negotiating peace? No Idea.
Who carried out the attack? No Idea.

Posted by: John Carter | Jun 14 2019 6:01 utc | 207

Interesting and sane interview on ‘today program’ news radio 4 bbc U.K. 7.50am ish.
Admiral Lord west - - - could be any US - proxy group in Middle East looking to gain by escalating US -Iran conflict !

He said it could well be ‘’a pro US group in Iran’’ similar to the US backed opposition in Venezuela !

My view is this makes the most sense!
Probably given the nod by Bolton/Trump ect
Definitely funded and armed by US !
Just as in Venezuela.

Plus- bare in mind the main motive will be western public voter deception, same as anti Russia/ Skripal, Anti Syria / chloride. Venezuela/opposition.

Criminal psychopath profile tells us -> USA Trump.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 14 2019 7:04 utc | 208

Meanwhile Twitter censorship thousands of iranian accounts. Pro-american accounts for war is of course never removed.

Twitter has announced that it is removing 4,779 accounts associated or backed by Tehran, the latest strike in the ongoing anti-Iran campaign perfectly timed to coincide with the attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

Don Bacon

Iran removed a mine from a ship, so that proves that Iran put it there!

Indeed, that is the illogical proapganda MSM use now, very disturbing. Its Tonkin once again.

Not to mention, is it iranians? Is it a mine to begin with? Is that really how you handle a mine? Just pull it off with your bare hands around 10 plus people on a small boat?
Interesting also that US just happend to be there spying.

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 14 2019 7:29 utc | 209

IRO that 'high-res' video footage from the usual suspects.

By coincidence they've had a surveillance drone or a chopper on location? Maybe, I don't know.
The Iranians do have the means to spot drones and choppers, we do know this ever since they hijacked and/or crashed RQ-170 and MQ-9 vehicles a couple of years back.
Are we to believe them - the Iranians - being that stupid to launching such an operation while knowing full well they are being watched by their main adversary?

Regarding technicalities:
Iran has got the know-how to build limpet mines? So it must have been done by Iranian forces? You don't say. Building a limpet mine is trivial. Get your hands on a bunch of Nd-magnets, a 3rd grade chemist cooking up a couple of kilos of a HEI composition, a mechanical engineer for the hardware and a physicist assisting in creating the fusing system and you're all set.

I, for one, am being positive Lichtenstein did it - most likely on direct orders of the ruling prince - after all there's chemists, physicists and mechanical engineers inhabiting that tiny speck of land.

Posted by: Hmpf | Jun 14 2019 7:51 utc | 210

Would be intreresting if iranians actually picked up a mine though and it was an american made, israeli made mine. Iran has a big chance now to frame the incident.

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 14 2019 7:52 utc | 211

Japans oil imports by country for 2018.

"Japan expects a limited impact from the U.S. decision not to renew waivers previously granted on Iran oil import sanctions, the country’s trade and industry minister said Tuesday."

The majority of Japans oil imports come through the Hormuz Strait. Probably wasn't a good idea for Abe to trot off to Iran at Trump's bidding.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 14 2019 8:10 utc | 212

Good points zanon
To add - If the US start all-out War with Iran, how many refugees would that create ? millions !
And if so, would we blame them/ the victems and drive them back from safety to the conflict area, or do we blame the US and demand they compensate their victems.
If we are to return to a sane world, the perpetrators MUST pay the price and receive full punishment .
American politicians always say ‘ we will do what is in America’s interest’ and right there is the problem - - - not able to anticipate the outcome of there own actions !
Example - all recent conflict.
One definition of insanity is making the same mistake over and over again !!

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 14 2019 8:31 utc | 213

Meanwhile Russia committed new batch of tests for Arctic-specific anti-air missiles, TOR-M2DT

Reportedly, shooting was proceeded at maneuvering targets and in radio warfare environment

Posted by: Arioch | Jun 14 2019 8:47 utc | 214

This picture shows something:
(it's also in some other german online media portals)
Most likely the damage caused by small limpet mines.
This devices can't sink a tankship particularly with a double hull.
It was definitly not a torpedo, an anti ship missile or a huge sea mine.
An Iranian coast watch or rescue boat retrieved an unexploded limpet mine from the other ship(Front Altair). IMHO it's normal to remove dangerous things before starting rescue operations. The USN/CENTCOM claims Iran try to hide something. This is also quite common. ;-)

Posted by: Wolle | Jun 14 2019 9:09 utc | 215

@224 Bizarre. The photo shows the limped mine on the starboard side of the ship. The video from the Bainbridge shows the Iranians removing that limped mine on the port side of the ship.

The photo doesn't appear reversed - the name is clearly seen - so why would the US reverse the video?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jun 14 2019 10:33 utc | 216

Posted by: All Forone | Jun 14, 2019 1:24:48 AM | 209

Yes, they have been taking on the US for quite some time now. No, they are not crazy.

They have been doing this:

In case you wonder - Iran is the guy who did NOT get his tongue stuck.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 14 2019 10:34 utc | 217

Okay, not a torpedo. Now it's a mine. But wait a minute, the Japanese say something was flying above the water. The US shows a video of the Iranians removing a limpet mine. The Japanese contest the "assessment" of the US and the US video shows the Iranians removing a mine NOT placing one.
The story gets stranger as the neoclowns push for war.

Posted by: Curtis | Jun 14 2019 10:44 utc | 218

@18 b
Spot on. Time will tell how risky that was .... for us all.

Posted by: TEP | Jun 14 2019 11:08 utc | 219

James @ 212:

Try this link.

The other Wikipedia-connected link was the best I could find and the link is about second-best.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 14 2019 11:27 utc | 220

If infact the Iranians did recover from either ship an explosive machine, a mine, flying machine, rocket, unexploded torpedo,etc, or indeed any forensic material, that and the debriefings of the crews will make for great political theater...that stuff is fairly festooned with serial numbers... "film at 11", as they used to say...

Posted by: Walter | Jun 14 2019 12:37 utc | 221

Imagine the consternation in Langley!

"What? Only three booms? But we gave those idiots we hired four mines to attach to that ship! Oh, cr@p, the place is swarming with drones by now. What do we do about the fourth mine now? Can we pretend the Cubans stole it from us with their killer crickets and gave it to Iran?

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 14 2019 12:58 utc | 222

Moon of Alabama lost all credibility with this article. Israel has a huge online troll party going on blaming Iran for this. Attack 2 tankers tied to Japanese interests,while the Japanese Leader is conferring with Iran's leader, outside the mouth of the Persian Gulf is too much codswallop to swallow.

Posted by: Frank | Jun 14 2019 13:16 utc | 223

Two comments: "Blamed Iran but did not present any evidence" says it all. These incidents remind one of the Vietnam Gulf of Tonkin "incident" in which the US government claimed their forces were attacked by North Vietnam. Subsequently it was proven by the NSA and others that there was no attack. It was simply propaganda to give the Americans an excuse to escalate the war. It would surprise no one, if it turned out that the US or Saudi's hired black operatives to stage these attacks so that they could escalate tensions with Iran.


It was previously reported that the limpet mine was still attached to the ship. So why didn't the US, in need of solid evidence, go to the ship and remove the mine thereby obtaining hard evidence that could be evaluated? Instead, the US did nothing, Iran undertook its removal not wanting it to explode which makes sense. Then the US used it's removal by others to suggest complicity. The US is either incompetent or just making plots up (lying as usual). Iran's removal of the mine means nothing.

Posted by: Great Blue | Jun 14 2019 13:26 utc | 224

I came to this article fully expecting another update from b

Don't see it. Is it being proofread at this moment?

The latest word is that some of the crew saw "flying objects" "shortly before the explosion".


ALSO, the explosions were above the waterline. Mines are not known to behave like flying fish and jump out of the water at ships.

Update pending?

Posted by: librul | Jun 14 2019 13:29 utc | 225

@196 Anon - I agree

@134 Yonatan - A little frightener to Japan - this makes great sense and should have been obvious. Thanks for pointing it out.

@198 psychohistorian - it was a mouthful, but actually makes sense. Anon is saying that under the guise of seeming to be provoked and acting purely in reaction (to the bad actions of Iran, etc), the US is actually exerting and expanding its power in the region, all the while making the narrative say that it's the other unruly elements causing the ruckus.

I agree with Anon that it's more a case that a psy-ops theater has intensified, which tells several departments of the empire that the game can get a little harsher, and they can get away with it. It doesn't hurt that increased violence and aggravation on the region will raise the price of oil, which fits US thinking. In fact, with Bolton accusing Iran of trying to raise the price of oil, we now know with virtual certainty that these words reflect a US intention somewhere in the mix.

[Sidebar: Funny how they never dropped that old propaganda thing of accusing the target of your own actions before the target can accuse you of this act. I suspect this is an ancient ploy of evildoers - when you can't seize the moral high ground because you have no place there, then you must steal the moral high ground. Plunder and occupation by another name.]

The warning to Japan to hold steady to its western mission is very plausible. And anything that happens can be blamed on Iran anyway - the perfect patsy for all kinds of mayhem. And still Israel would like to provoke the US military into a suicidal attack on Iran.

So, several incentives for several players, several actions, and more to come, all under the virtual fog of virtual war.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 14 2019 13:33 utc | 226

The US has claimed that the tanker attacks showed "a level of sophistication implicating a nation, not a random terrorist". Again this is pure bullshit and propaganda from the Trump bunch. I recall the attack on the guided missile carrier, USS Cole in which the ship was damaged and a number of sailors were killed. The USS Cole was attacked successfully by a small fiberglass boat loaded with C4. Successful yet hardly "sophisticated". The US has been selling limpet mines and other armaments to every whack job group and country for decades. That a few of these made it onto a small boat and were delivered to the tankers is hardly surprising and does not require any sophistication at all. So once again, we have deception, lies, and war mongering coming out of the Blight House and its Trumpian orifices.

Posted by: Great Blue | Jun 14 2019 13:35 utc | 227

I am guessing those Iranian mine removers accidentally left passport behind?
Or was flag on boat and Iranian Guard uniforms were give-away.
Thank goodness for the I/C - you can never have enough intelligence (or war).

Posted by: jared | Jun 14 2019 13:43 utc | 228

This is my first time commenting in this blog. With all due respect to the writer and the quality of his journalism, sometimes it is easy to miss the distinction between causality versus correlation between events.
We tend to find patterns where they might not exist. From Iranian perspective, it was the first time they were being sanctioned for petrochemical materials versus raw oil. Not a fan of any government, but I believe true journalism should stay away from any judgment or speculation.
Thanks for all the great articles and analyses.

Posted by: Brave heart | Jun 14 2019 13:50 utc | 229

@227 jen... that link doesn't work either... maybe it is something on my end?

@235 jared... sounds about right!!

Posted by: james | Jun 14 2019 14:17 utc | 230

Has anyone thought it might be in the interests of the US which has a Glut of oil and want's to keep the price up and the Stock Market up too?

Posted by: William Kierath | Jun 14 2019 14:18 utc | 231

craig murrays take on it - The Gulf of Credibility

Posted by: james | Jun 14 2019 14:20 utc | 232

@237 Just delete the / at the end of the URL. Happens a lot for some reason.

Posted by: dh | Jun 14 2019 14:26 utc | 233

"flying objects" = drones?
...from JapanToday
Operator of tanker says sailors saw 'flying objects' just before attack

The Japanese operator ship operator of one of two oil tankers attacked near the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday said that sailors on board its vessel, the Kokuka Courageous, saw "flying objects" just before the attack, suggesting the tanker wasn't damaged by mines.
That account contradicts what the U.S. military has said as it released a video it says shows Iranian forces removing an unexploded limpet mine from one of the two ships in the suspected attack.
Speaking at a news conference in Tokyo, Yutaka Katada, president of Kokuka Sangyo Co, said he believes the flying objects seen by the sailors could be bullets, and denied possibility of mines or torpedoes because the damages were above the ship's waterline. He called reports of mine attack "false." . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 14 2019 14:30 utc | 234

from a limpet-skeptic

The two tanker vessels attacked Thursday are adrift in the Gulf of Oman today as the U.S. military is directing everyone’s attention to a newly released, low-resolution video that allegedly shows a group of people in a watercraft removing an unexploded mine from the damaged hull of the M/T Kokuka Courageous in broad daylight and in clear view of the U.S. Navy’s guided-missile destroyer, USS Bainbridge.
U.S. Central Command claims the small watercraft in the video belongs to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps: “an IRGC Gashti Class patrol boat,” according to one of two evening statements by CENTCOM officials.
Worth noting: The boat’s clear and distinct connection to Iran or the IRGC, however, is not evident in the video itself. Nor is it clear from the video (1) where the boat came from, (2) who the occupants were, (3) whether what was allegedly removed was in fact a limpet mine (as the OSINT folks at Bellingcat pointed out this morning), or (4) where the boat went to after its occupants concluded their activity from the side of the Courageous. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 14 2019 14:41 utc | 235

@242 dh... thanks... jens link now works.. i will remember that for the future...

willy b at sst's site comments - The Tanker Attacks In the Gulf of Oman: Cui Bono?

by Willy B

Posted by: james | Jun 14 2019 14:44 utc | 236


I liked the first comment--


Isn't it amazing how the Enemy-of-the-day always does exactly what you want it to do when you want it to?

Posted by: Patrick Armstrong | 14 June 2019 at 10:15 AM "

Posted by: arby | Jun 14 2019 14:56 utc | 237

‘Flying Object’ Struck Tanker in Gulf of Oman, Operator Says, Not a Mine nyt article....

@244 don bacon - your link isn't working..

comment from craig murray poster spencer eagle- "There’s one glaring thing wrong about that US video of Iranians allegedly removing a limpet mine from that tanker, too many spectators. Even if they did plant the mine, no crew in their right minds would gather round as their colleague made safe a live mine from a bobbing boat."

Posted by: james | Jun 14 2019 14:57 utc | 238

@arby - lol... patrick is pretty insightful...

Posted by: james | Jun 14 2019 14:59 utc | 239

link works for me

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 14 2019 14:59 utc | 240

It would be interesting to checkout the Call Option and Oil contract activity prior to the attack.

Posted by: EricT | Jun 14 2019 15:00 utc | 241

from LongWarJournal
Yemen’s Houthis target Saudi airports

Over the span of 24 hours, Yemen’s Houthi insurgent movement has twice targeted the Abha international airport with missiles and suicide drones.
At least 26 people were wounded on Wednesday after the Houthis launched a cruise missile at the Abha airport. Video of the bombing released by Saudi Arabia shows the moment the missile struck the airport. The use of a cruise missile on a civilian infrastructure represents a major shift in the war between Saudi Arabia and the Houthi insurgents.
Speaking to the Houthi-ran Al Masirah News, an official spokesman said that the strike came in response to Saudi aggression in Yemen and civilians should avoid “vital and military areas as they have become legitimate targets to us.” . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 14 2019 15:00 utc | 242

@249 don.. i tried it again and it works.. weird... thanks..

Posted by: james | Jun 14 2019 15:03 utc | 243

These tanker attacks have Butthead and Pompusass written all over them. Butthead and Pompusass - meglomania at its finest.

Posted by: Barbarossa | Jun 14 2019 15:09 utc | 244

I've just seen the Navy video. I've got some problems with the shadows. They seem too long.

The incident has supposedly happened at 4 pm local time. The location is almost exactly situated on the Tropic of Cancer, i.e now, Mid June, the sun creates almost vertically shadows at midday. At 4 pm, the angle should still be 60 degree or so. Correspondingly the shadows should still be very short. The shadows in the video to me appear to be created by a 30 degree sun angle at most. This is of course only a preliminary estimation.

Bottom line: The video doesn't match the supposed time and location of the incidence.

Posted by: mk | Jun 14 2019 15:12 utc | 245

Trump says tanker attack ‘has Iran written all over it’ as Tehran denies involvement

“Iran did do it, and you know they did it because you saw the boat" . .here
and here's the boat. High-resolution it ain't.

Also lacking any resolution is what can the US do next, since its options are severely limited.
IMO Iran has the US by the short hairs. In fact Iran may provide an encore,just to rub it in.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 14 2019 15:13 utc | 246

Drone-delivered limpet mines?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 14 2019 15:14 utc | 247

Correct map links from #206/207 and #227 were:

Notice - they end with the file name, not with a folder name ( no "/" slash on the end ).

Dunno how people manage to insert that extra slash to the end.
Without it both links work ok.

Posted by: Arioch | Jun 14 2019 15:20 utc | 248

After hundred of sanctions on Iran, Trump is now faced with a tough decision.
1- Order military attacks on Iran and start a tit for tat escalation that would to a disaster in the region and hampers Trump re-election
2 Attack Iran's so called proxies: Hezbollah, Houthis, Syria then regional allies of the USA, ie the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Israel will get more of these 'mini attacks' that will disrupt oil supplies and Israel security. These attacks will show the world that Trump's big talk and economical sanctions are totally ineffective

I think that while Iran may not be responsible for the attacks in the Oman Gulf, I am sure that they condone them without hesitation. Who ever is doing it intentionaly or not is giving to Iran a posture that Trump will have to match.

That is why Trump's only choice other than war is to fire Bolton and scapegoat him at the risk of losing the Israeli lobby and the neocons support for his re election.
Yet if he wants to keep the Israeli lobbies support, Trump will need to have Netanyahu re-elected..
That is his only choice
Already foreign medias are demonizing Bolton as a prelude to his firing
Is John Bolton the most dangerous man in the world?

Posted by: Virgile | Jun 14 2019 15:21 utc | 249

Intersting that the boarding crew on one of the boat were russians, also a puzzle?

Don Bacon

US could of course do anything they want, as they have in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan - you name it.
Next thing could be an explosion on a military US frigate or something similar. We all know who would be blamed and call for US attacks would be real simple.

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 14 2019 15:22 utc | 250

from CDR Salamander
Let's break that in to little bits.
1. No USA ships are involved.
2. No USA citizens are involved.
3. No USA territory or waters are involved.
4. All cargo was headed to Asia.
. . .This. Is. Not. Our. Problem.
What is Norway doing? Japan? They are both our allies, but they have the lead on this - not us.
Who really benefits from this? It isn't Iran. It certainly is not the USA.
Everyone needs to take a powder and take a step back.
This talk of military action this soon is insanity. This is irresponsible. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 14 2019 15:25 utc | 251

If drone-delivered: the mines would be heavy so a long-range drone would be needed. However, if the drone took off from a near-by ship then then a less complex drone could be used. But a small ship lacks space for a runway. It would need some sort of launcher/catapult. Oh, here's one.

What ships were in the area?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 14 2019 15:28 utc | 252

What is needed now is information what really happend - I dont see any info on what was actually happend but people that call for war.
Was it a mine? Missile? Torped? Grenade? Lets say it was a type of missile that was produced by nation X, who fired it?
Who/what was put there?
Was it an exercise that these ships accidently moved in to? - Was it an accident?

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 14 2019 15:32 utc | 253

@Don Bacon

Relates to security of transport through the straight.
If Iran were in fact responsible, would make me question their sanity.
Barring that they are insane, I cannot see how it could be Iran, could be anybody except Iran.
To state the obvious: Look at motive and opportunity.
If Trump were not insane/idiot, he might suggest that there are many with possible motive and that it should be carefully investigated before action or even comment is made - more babies from incubators and dead ducks. How stupid is Trump really.

Posted by: jared | Jun 14 2019 15:38 utc | 254

“Our crew said that the ship was attacked by a flying object,” Mr. Katada said of the incident on Thursday.

What kind of flying object? Apparently it is as of yet unidentified.

In other words, the NYT is reporting that the operator of the ship is claiming that the ship was hit by a UFO (Unidentified Flying Object.) Whoo, Whoo!

Posted by: UFO's Are Real! | Jun 14 2019 15:41 utc | 255

Iran tightens the screws....
from TehranTimes
B-Team launching ‘sabotage diplomacy’ against Iran, Zarif warns

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday accused Washington of jumping “to make allegations against Iran without a shred of factual or circumstantial evidence” as two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 14 2019 15:43 utc | 256

The propaganda war has already been won by the US, it is Iran Iran Iran and the MSM and even some people here talk about Iran having or might have some culpability. Meanwhile NO ONE could show any evidence or reason for the argument.
Think about that, how easily desinformation works and how illogical it really is.

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 14 2019 15:44 utc | 257

@ jr 261
[Drone] would need some sort of launcher/catapult
Couldn't it be a rotary-wing drone like they sell at Verizon?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 14 2019 15:52 utc | 258

@James 239

Murray makes good points--as usual. The bit out the Norwegian tanker's owners having a history of cooperation with the Iranian government is interesting.

@mk 254

The timeline in the CENTCOM release is interesting, claiming that the alleged IRGC craft arrived at the Japanese ship around 0800 but didn't take the "limpet mine" or whatever it was until 1600. If the boat were IRGC and was trying to remove evidence--a command-detonated explosive that failed to explode?--you'd think they would do it immediately. Also, I can't tell what kind of video the released clip is--EO or IR? It doesn't look like EO taken in daylight.

Posted by: Oscar Peterson | Jun 14 2019 15:58 utc | 259

Important comment at Craig Murray's blog:

The american admiral in charge is fanatically anti-iranian:

It is important to realize that Chief of Naval O[erations Admiral John Richardson, a creature of former Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, is taking the lead in this warmongering against Iran.

He and Carter were opposed to the nuclear agreement that the Obama administration worked out with Tehran, and are now working to deneuclarize the Iranian regime.

Richardson had the Navy look allegedly for those two sunk subs found soon after they disappeared, the USS Scorpion and Thresther, when they were actually looking for the USS Batfish and Puffer which were sunk in 1982 in the Anglo-American War against Sweden soon after Ricgardson joined the submarine corps.

He is a full blown warmonger against America’s alleged enemies.

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 14 2019 16:01 utc | 260

I am surprised to see some posters and Bevin proposing that maybe it was Iran, at this point.
Seems premature. Though it is possible, barring substantial evidence, it would be my starting point that that is the least likely scenario.
And the jump to conclusion (as by Trump et al) suggests bias or motive.

Posted by: jared | Jun 14 2019 16:03 utc | 261

There are also helicopter drones.

Here's another catapult drone and this video also shows drone recovery via wire from a mast.

Distance to target would be reduced by heavy mines but using multiple drones would help with that problem.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

It's not just the drone tech that's important. If you're going to do a 'op' like this where you want guaranteed non-attribution, then you've got to have the tech well tested and very reliable. A drone failure or mission foul-up could be devastating.

So, its not an off-the shelf drone and it's a hand-picked crew that has been trained on such a mission over months and it's "off the books" and it's carried out by an organization that can ensure secrecy (implying intelligence organization). Thus, a "state actor".

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 14 2019 16:04 utc | 262

I think that concluding now that Iran didn't do it is a mistake.
>We don't know who did it.
>Tehran clearly indicated it had enough of the US aggressive baseless sanctions, and would do something.
>Tehran is controlling the discourse ("lack of evidence," etc).
>US (AKA world-power) choices are extremely limited; Iran's aren't.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 14 2019 16:06 utc | 263

OT: Excellent posting by (in my layman's opinion) excellent site for info and comment and excellent author:

Posted by: jared | Jun 14 2019 16:07 utc | 264

Man, people still don't get Trump's voters.

Virgil suggests above that Trump's only choices to deal with this incident is to start a war or fire Bolton. He goes onto suggest if Trump fired Bolton he'd lose the neocon vote and Israel's support.

WRONG. Please go to conservative sites. Any of them. During the primaries and campaign. Read and learn for yourself what the conservative voter was demanding of the nominee in comment sections. Please. Folks make these declarations that are not true. Trump voters do not want war. Trump voters do not want regime changes. And Trump voters are as suspicious if not more so of Bolton than many here are.

Neocons aka Never Trumpers after the campaign took their toys and left the right side of the aisle. They embraced their kissing cousins the neo libs who own the Dem Party. Conservatives loathe the neocons. The neocons loathe conservatives.

Only warmongers and its profiteers want war - NeoCons and NeoLibs. The rest of us Americans - right, left, middle, indy, green whatever DO NOT WANT WAR WITH ANY DAMNED BODY.

Posted by: h | Jun 14 2019 16:10 utc | 265

@ Zanon 269
The american admiral in charge is fanatically anti-iranian:
The CNO has no authority over naval operations, that takes place in the combat commands, CENTCOM (Tampa) in this case.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 14 2019 16:12 utc | 266

More on topic:
Voice of reason (nails it as usual)-

Posted by: jared | Jun 14 2019 16:13 utc | 267


Isn't it amazing how the Enemy-of-the-day always does exactly what you want it to do when you want it to?

that about sums it up

Posted by: librul | Jun 14 2019 16:17 utc | 268

Johstone linked @ 276
". . .the US has been provoking Iran with extremely aggressive and steadily tightening sanctions, which means that even if Tehran is behind the attacks, it would not be the aggressor and the attacks would most certainly not have been “unprovoked”. Economic sanctions are an act of war; if China were to do to America’s economy what America is doing to Iran’s, the US would be in a hot war with China immediately. It could technically be possible that Iran is pushing back on US aggressions and provocations, albeit in a strange and neoconservatively convenient fashion."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 14 2019 16:19 utc | 269

sorry, Johnstone

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 14 2019 16:19 utc | 270


Excellent comment.
But neocons and zionists are taking over the Trump agenda.
Trump supporters are becoming confused about what they support - they support Trump so they are increasingly defending this ziocon crap.

But your point is I think very excellent, the public (and Trumps original supporters in particular) does not want war (with the exception of some religious kooks, perhaps).

Posted by: jared | Jun 14 2019 16:20 utc | 271

@Don Bacon

Yes, it is possible.
But why would that be important to note, at this point?
Many things are possible.

Posted by: jared | Jun 14 2019 16:23 utc | 272

Neocons aren't solely responsible for anything, but depended upon support form "liberals" AKA neo-libs for the various mistaken wars. That includes people like: Gore, Biden, Obama, and the Clintons.
Trump is anti-establishment for the most part so that is a good thing, in regard to Russia for one specific thing, but nothing in life is perfect.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 14 2019 16:26 utc | 273

@ jared 281
What are you talking about?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 14 2019 16:29 utc | 274

Don Bacon

Trump has been as bad on Russia as the "establishment" - perhaps even worse, its a myth that Trump appease Russia.

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 14 2019 16:32 utc | 275

I would remind everyone that the greatest pressure against US+allies strategy of economic strangulation of Iran and Syria is the current operation to retake Idlib.

Yesterday's attacks against shipping will almost certainly be used as an excuse to increase US troop levels and/or act belligerently in defense of their "interests" such as retaining Idlib.

From SST (see link provided by james @245):

As for what the US might do about it, the New York Times reports that yesterday morning, after the news of the attack began to break, there was a previously scheduled meeting in "the Tank" at the Pentagon, involving Shanahan, Dunford and other top officials to discuss threats in the Middle East and US troop levels. The Times reports that weeks prior Centcom chief Gen. McKenzie had actually asked for 20,000 troops but that Dunford expressed the fear that if that many were ordered to the Gulf, it would be provocative "and perhaps a sign that, despite denials, the Trump administration’s real goal was regime change." [Note: 1,500 troops were reported to have been approved] Prior to yesterday's meeting Shanahan and Dunford were ready to make the case that Mr. Trump had told the Pentagon to reduce American forces and United States involvement in the current wars in the Middle East, and avoid direct confrontation with Iran ...

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 14 2019 16:33 utc | 276

Now Tehran has the option to say to the US: Drop those thirteen demands and we'll talk.
It has other options also, now that the air has been cleared a bit.
Khamenei will have to approve whatever it is, and he's a realist

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 14 2019 16:37 utc | 277
14 June 2019
Media Statement
"Update - Kokuka Courageous incident – Gulf of Oman
The Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) managed product carrier Kokuka Courageous is now safely undertow in the Gulf of Oman heading towards Kalba Anchorage, UAE....

...The vessel was about 70 nautical miles from Fujairah and about 16 nautical miles from the coast of Iran
BSM is actively monitoring the situation in the Gulf of Oman and will issue another statement when we have further details."

A search of the internet brings up no photos whatsoever of this ship under tow or at any time after it was attacked... apart from the microsoft paint job. I guess the damage does not match the US narrative.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 14 2019 16:39 utc | 278

Seriously, a drone attaching a limpet mine?! Please use your brains before proposing something that ludicrous!

Why not look at what occurred in the Brent Oil Market for drones instead. This chart shows trading volume and price before and after event. What you see is a massive shorting followed by covering, followed by another short play, then further covering. Some entity(ies) made a lot of money with their prior knowledge of the event. The tankers didn't need to be sunk to drive that play; just a little Flare to provide visibility. How do I know what's depicted by the chart is shorting followed by covering? I've seen such behavior a great number of times before, particularly in the run-up to the massive financial takedown in 2007-8 when many mortgage writing firms were shorted massively so they could be bought-up for next to nothing. Such behavior has CIA/Mossad stamped all over it, which is what I thought to begin with.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 14 2019 16:40 utc | 279

Politico: Trump points the finger at Iran for oil tanker attacks


Well, Iran did do it. You know they did it, because you saw the boat, I guess one of the mines didn't explode and it’s probably got, essentially, Iran written all over it,” he said. “And you saw the boat at night trying to take the mine off, and successfully took the mine off the boat and that was exposed. And that was their boat, that was them. And they didn't want the evidence left behind.


While Trump added that Iran must not have known the U.S. has nighttime surveillance capabilities, a timeline from U.S. Central Command accompanying the video’s release indicates the apparent mine removal happened in broad daylight, which would make the operation even more brazen."


These attacks could have only been the work of a sophisticated nation state actor. Specifically a sophisticated nation state actor that does not know that the US has "nighttime surveillance capabilities".

The US has officially jumped the shark.

Posted by: Zack | Jun 14 2019 16:41 utc | 280

@ Zanon 284
Trump has been as bad on Russia as the "establishment"
Not by choice, I believe, and the US president is not a total dictator. Often he must do what he's told, especially when the establishment (especially the "intelligence" community) is out to get him, and they don't take prisoners.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 14 2019 16:42 utc | 281

@ karlof 288
Seriously, a drone attaching a limpet mine?! Please use your brains ..
Where did you read that?
A reference would be helpful.
Or are you kidding. Must be. So say so?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 14 2019 16:45 utc | 282

The US has not only lost the narrative, it has royally screwed the pooch, getting in deeper and deeper with its falsehoods. Can a laughing-stock rule the world?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 14 2019 16:48 utc | 283

Posted by: h | Jun 14, 2019 12:10:52 PM | 274

I agree. Trump can only do this election wise if it is a quick campaign that lets him claim victory fast and does not involve dying US soldiers.

As is, there is a huge problem already for the US to leave Afghanistan.

Saudi might have been crazy enough to do it as they need serious help with the Houthis.
I doubt Israel is interested in a war that might get them into Hezbollah's crosshairs.

I don't think, by the way, that economic problems from the sanctions are forcing Iran, as there is this Chinese - Pakistan - Iran sea route. There is also a connection to Russia via the Caspian. And I don't doubt they have good relations to the -stans.

They simply own one of the most strategic places the world has to offer. With mountains.

And they have something like a 2500 year tradition of empire and strategy.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 14 2019 16:50 utc | 284

>>>> arby | Jun 13, 2019 4:22:43 PM | 135

While I very much appreciate P.M. Abe going to Iran to meet with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, I personally feel that it is too soon to even think about making a deal. They are not ready, and neither are we!

Nobody seems to have picked up on the bolded part of the tweet, "and neither are we!". Holy fuck! in a single tweet, Trump has restored my belief that he is not the evil crazed dictator that the MSM and the Washington Borg make him out to be. He might be on domestic policy, but so what? Trump really wants to do a deal with Iran but he knows that at the moment neither the Republicans nor the Democrats will let him do so. And as for the MIC and the IC fugedaboutit. It bad enough he wants to do a deal with Kim Jung Un and improve relations with Moscow, but Tehran, that is so far beyond the pale as to be impossible. Perhaps when he gets a successful deal with KJU, he can move on to working for a deal with Tehran.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jun 14 2019 16:52 utc | 285

@Zanon 266

"The propaganda war has already been won by the US"

Maybe. Right now, I think the Iranian government is trying to ascertain exactly what happened. Was the IRGC up to something that Rouhani et al were cut out on, or was this a sophisticated false flag and, if so, by whom? The Iranian responses to the US charge have so far been a bit tepid--"suspicious" etc. rather than a full-throated, compelling rejection. They have so far failed to issue a strong rebuttal that either asserts that the video is essentially fake, or that the boat and crew were something other than Iranian or that they were Iranian but were doing something other than what the US claims. Iran needs to get its act together and be able to say something convincing or the US WILL have won the propaganda fight as you suggest.

The brevity of the video clip and the unwillingness of the US to shed any light on where the boat went after leaving the tanker, even though the camera must have followed it for some time afterwards, is suspicious but hardly conclusive. It's also strange also that the video quality is so poor during daylight given the capabilities of drone imagery these days.

Posted by: Oscar Peterson | Jun 14 2019 16:57 utc | 286

Don Bacon 292

Not true. The MSM all over the west is using the propganda, desinformation accusation that Iran is or likely behind this incident.
And states are following along:

Who needs proof? Britain believes US claims on Iran because ‘they’re our closest ally’

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 14 2019 16:57 utc | 287

If Trump wants a reliable, discrete go-between with Tehran, then Abe is probably as good as he'll get. Makes me wonder if some group within the Washington Borg/MIC/IC/ decided to queer the pitch for Trump with a black op involving Japanese interests while Abe was in Tehran.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jun 14 2019 16:59 utc | 288

@Don Bacon 278

Sorry, Don. I became to absorbed in my own point.

Yes, it is possible (that Iran is responsible).
But why would that be important to note, at this point?
Many things are possible.

Ms Johnstone mentions the point in her article for the purpose on noting (in her open minded fashion) that she does not know what are the facts leading to the event, but her point is that Pompous and the admin and the U.S. "intelligence community" have zero credibility and their statements are to be taken lightly and we need responsible actors to step in and make responsible evaluation.

Posted by: jared | Jun 14 2019 17:00 utc | 289

@ GS 294
. . .and neither are we(US)!
Which is a good reason for Iran doing something to change the stalemated situation.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 14 2019 17:00 utc | 290

h @274, Zanon @284

Trump peaceful intentions and "non-interventionist" policy is media-hyped psy-op. He hasn't delivered peace or pulled out troops from anywhere.

North Korea: a big show of talks, but no follow-thru.

Middle-east: Trump's "order" to pull-out of Syria (which led to firing of DefSec Mattis!) was skillfully and quietly walked back and rising tensions with Iran have led to an increase in troop levels.

Russia: Trump's seemingly positive view toward Russia during the campaign was used to initiate a new McCarthyism via "Russiagate". Despite the perception that Trump favors Russia, he has actually turned the screws tighter - increasing sanctions, sending lethal aid to Ukraine, more troops and equipment to Poland and other countries bordering Russia, and demanding that countries (Germany, Turkey) stop doing business with Russia (Nordstream, S-400 purchase).

Other examples:
In Venezuela, the Trump Administration blatantly "meddles" in Venezuela politics and forces allies to join them.

In Israel/Palestian Territories, the Trump Administration has throw off all pretense and supports Israel against Palestinians by moving it's Embassy and ending humanitarian support to Palestinians.

In China, US has initiated a trade war so fiercely that the intention appears to be to strike a blow against the Chinese economy.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Despite the above, psy-op manipulators and Kool-Aid drinkers still think that Trump's intentions are peaceful and he's undermined by his mean advisors.

Welcome to the rabbithole.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 14 2019 17:03 utc | 291

@Don Bacon 278

Also, exactly next sentence in Ms Johnstones excellent opinion piece:
"Either way, we have seen exactly zero evidence supporting Pompeo’s [*] claims, so anyone you see hastening to blame Iran for the Gulf of Oman incident is either a war whore or a slobbering moron, or both."
* Pompeo meaning "Pompous Ass"

Posted by: jared | Jun 14 2019 17:07 utc | 292

Front Altair - Owned by Front Altair Inc and managed by International Tanker Management Limited.

International Tanker Management Limited -
Tecom C, Office 809, Executive Heights, Damac Building, 24415, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Phone number:
+971 4 4403600
About ITM
ITM, which was originally known as Barber Ship Management (BSM), part of Wilhelmsen Group, commenced operations in Dubai in June 1991 and was one of the first ship management companies in the UAE.
ITM is part of V.Group, one of the largest maritime outsourcing group of companies in the world.

Front Altair Inc is the Norwegian owner Craig Murray refers to but the ship is managed by the Dubai based International Tanker Management.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 14 2019 17:08 utc | 293

Don Bacon @291--

On this thread and at other sites. My initial comment was far more sarcastic but it got wiped when IE rebooted itself.

As for Pics and Vids supplied via USN, they look as bad as what was provided to accuse Russia of bad navigation, so of course we need to be told what we're seeing! Bah!!

Note all the important global happenings being wiped off the news by the sensationalism of this event and accompanying narrative. Note the temporal closeness to event and publication of predetermined narrative. Note that very visibly suspicious oil exchange activity is NOT being reported. And note the same illogic relation to this event as with the false flag "gas" attacks in Syria where the Syrian government had absolutely no logical reason to conduct such an attack, just as Iran had zero reason to target Japanese related assets while meeting with Abe. The MO is oh so obvious that the three blind mice could figure it out.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 14 2019 17:10 utc | 294

"I am surprised to see ...Bevin proposing that maybe it was Iran, at this point."

I most certainly do not and never have believed that Iran was responsible for these 'attacks.'
I find B's reasoning unconvincing- there is no chance, in my view, that either Iran or what is misleadingly characterised as "Iranian proxies" were involved.
In fact I am puzzled by b's lapse into credulity. These events have Imperialism written all over them. The fact that the US says otherwise is prima facie evidence of Iran's innocence.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 14 2019 17:13 utc | 295

karlof1 @287: Seriously, a drone attaching a limpet mine?!

The reports by the crew of things in the air and damage above the surface indicate delivery by airborne means.

A helicopter drone might be able to do an attachment via a long wire. But a airplane-like drone would need to drop the mine into the water near the ship (allowing momentum to carry it to the ship).

The simplest attachment of mines would be before leaving harbor but that might have an increased chance of detection.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 14 2019 17:16 utc | 296

@ Zanon 296
Not true. The MSM all over the west is using the propaganda, disinformation accusation that Iran is or likely behind this incident.

The western MSM makes it clear these are claims, which are weakening with time.
NYTimes: Tankers Are Attacked in Mideast, and US Says Video Shows Iran Was Involved
CNN: US releases video it claims shows Iran removing unexploded mine from Gulf tanker
Guardian: Footage US military claims shows Iranian patrol boat removing limpet ...
BBC: Gulf of Oman tanker attacks: Iran calls US accusation 'unfounded' . . .US says video shows Iran removing mine

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 14 2019 17:21 utc | 297

Kokuka Courageous. Owner - Coral Island Maritime S.A. Operator - Bernhard Schulte Ship management (Singapore) Pte. Ltd
Bernhard Schulte Ship management (Singapore) Pte. Ltd
Now based in the maritime city of Hamburg and entering its fifth generation of private ownership, the Schulte family knows what it means to own and operate ships: it's in our blood. A modern and diversified fleet of 95 fully and jointly-owned ships represents the core of the Bernhard Schulte owned fleet. Reliable and rewarding long-term deployment for a fleet of this calibre is assured through partnerships with blue-chip liner companies, oil majors and established consortia and pools.

The Schulte family is fully committed to further developing BSM as a leading maritime solutions provider and the leader in quality shipmanagement, in line with our published Vision & Mission.

I can find nothing on Coral Island Maritime S.A.. No website, not even a reference to them comes up in searches.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 14 2019 17:41 utc | 298

Limpet mines were designed to be frogman portable and attached to the keel-bottom of the target. They are rather small, and thus several (4-6 minimum) would be required to sink any modern compartmentalized ship. The aim of the "attack" was clearly to not sink the ships, but to send up a flare of sorts capable of moving the oil market and perhaps the shipping insurance market, too. Yesterday, Yahoo Finance asserted without providing any substantiated proof that tanker insurance rates would jump as a result of the attack. Tradewinds, THE Global Shipping News Source, notes that spot charter rates have spiked upwards along with taker company stock prices, despite the potential increase in insurance rates: "July contract for Middle East-China route nears $25,000 per day, even though spot fixtures have largely halted as owners await insurance quotes."

It should be noted that tanker company stocks have been very low due to poor rates and over supply of vessels versus demand. So, they also stand to benefit from increasing tensions. Otherwise, the ships load, unload and transit between ports as usual.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 14 2019 17:46 utc | 299


Remote controlled loitering munition would make sense, a drone delivering a limpet mine doesn't.

Posted by: Hmpf | Jun 14 2019 17:51 utc | 300

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